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Atos to Assess New Rescue Offers From Kretinsky, Onepoint

In Technology
June 03, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Atos SE received revised bids from the two consortia vying to take over the heavily indebted French IT company, and will work with creditors this week to choose between them.

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Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s EP Equity Investment and David Layani’s Onepoint made proposals that were consistent with the targets set by Atos, including debt reduction and financing needs, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Atos shares fell 16%, the biggest decline since March 19, to €1.41 at 4:43 p.m. in Paris.

Atos and its creditors will try to reach an agreement by Wednesday, with a final deal to restructure the company targeted for July.

The bidders are seeking to rescue what was once one of France’s premier tech companies, before accounting scandals and huge debts left it on the verge of insolvency. Even though Atos has lost 90% of its value in the last year, it remains a key IT services provider in its home country.

The bid led by French IT firm Onepoint, with help from Butler Industries and Econocom Group SE, is joined by a group of some of the company’s creditors, while Kretinsky’s EPEI is in consortium with turnaround specialist investor Attestor Limited. A majority of the firm’s creditors will ultimately have to vote for their preferred refinancing proposal.

  • The EPEI-led bid includes as much as €700 million ($762 million) in equity investment and a reduction of Atos’ debt by about €3.4 billion, leaving a remaining debt of €1.4 billion. It would weigh a disposal of Atos’ digital business.

  • The Onepoint-led group would bring €250 million of new money equity and aim to convert €2.9 billion of the debt into shares. It says it has support from holders representing 36% of the bonds. It proposes to keep Atos as one single company.

Atos still needs cash to keep its business running and said it is seeking an additional €350 million interim financing, on top of €450 million agreed in April, as part of the revised proposals to cover costs from July 2024 through the end of the restructuring.

Atos said it has also received offers for its smart energy business, Worldgrid, which are under review.

(Updates with details of the two proposals)

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